Jim Henson’s The Storyteller was a creative and captivating show that did all sorts of strange and wonderful things with fairytales from all different cultures. It put new twists on old tales—some familiar, some less so—and made them come alive as only the Jim Henson Company could. As a fan of all things Henson, as well as all types of folklore, the show was pretty much tailor-made for me. So, needless to say, I was very excited to read and review this new comic.
The series runs for four issues, each one depicting a different tale involving shapeshifting. This first one, “The Children of Lir,” puts the comic squarely in the middle of “tailor-made for me” territory, as well, as the tale in question comes from Irish folklore. I’m a sucker for anything Irish.
Four siblings (the children of a great king) are cursed by their wicked uncle and turned into swans, so that he can rule the kingdom for himself. There’s a Grimm fairytale about children turned into swans, but while it’s possible that the two tales share similar roots, the events are very different.
Not being familiar with this specific tale, I couldn’t say for certain how much of what’s in the comic is faithful to the original, and how much is embellished. It hardly matters, though. Like on the TV series, story elements from all different sources blend together seamlessly to create something brand new—that still feels timeless.
Just as on the show, the comic has the framework of the storyteller and his faithful dog, encountering a situation that reminds him of a particular story, which he then relates. If you’ve seen the original show, you’ll definitely hear the voices of John Hurt and Brian Henson as you read those bits.
However, if you haven’t seen the original show, that’s fine, too. There’s no background necessary to enjoy this comic—just an appreciation for classic folklore, and for good stories.
The comic is a lot of fun. The story is great, and it’s told very well. The art, while not as impressive as the elaborate, mechanized puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for the original show, is still quite striking and complements the story well.
All in all, this is definitely a comic worth reading, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do with the three subsequent shapeshifting fairytales they’re going to depict in future issues. If you’re a fan of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller—or just Jim Henson, or storytelling—then you’ll want to check out this comic.
Creative Team: Andre R. Frattino (story), Nori Retherford (art), Kieran Quigley (colors), Jim Campbell (letters), Mike del Mundo and Mateus Manhanini (covers), Sonny Liew (spot illustration), Madison Goyette (designer), Allyson Gronowitz (editor), and Sierra Hahn (executive editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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